Bluefield's season ends with 3OT thriller in Regional Semifinals 100-95
Rams drop tough contest to Tennessee Temple in longest game of the season
Sports Information Department BC
March 9, 2012
Bluefield College Athletics
Sports Information Department
Martinsville, Tenn- The men's basketball team suffered a season-ending triple overtime heartbreaker on Friday night to Tennessee Temple 100-95 in the NCCAA Regional Semifinals at Hiwassee College.
The Rams started off the game much better than they finished. With hot shooting, Bluefield opened up to its largest lead of the entire game at the 11:06 mark in the first half by 8 points, 22-14.
As soon as Bliuefield looked to clear some space with a little bit of breathing room, TTU's Josh Morris stole the show over the next five minutes sparking a 10-0 Temple run to take a 24-22 win with 6:30 to play.
Bluefield did a great job in not allowing the momentum to completely shift after the Temple run. Carpenter helped spur the way for the Rams in the first half, while contributing in many different ways during the rest of the contest.
As the first half came to a close, Andrew Wilson quickly transitioned off a TTU missed basket and found M'bala who finished the play with a FG with four seconds left in the half as the Rams took a one point lead into the break, 39-38.
Bluefield started the second half by matching their first half lead of eight in the second half as well at 56-48 with 12:40 to play after a M'bala layup.
The Rams struggled to stop the inside scoring of the Crusaders though. And as a result, Temple got right back into the game. The Crusaders would outscore the Rams 66-38 in the paint, and were out-rebounded by Temple by a -11 margin. (63-52 total)
With ten seconds left in regulation, the two teams were all square at 74-74. M'bala grabbed a steal, and got it off to Wilson. Wilson was fouled on the insuing possession and made both free throws to take a two point lead with :6 seconds remaining.
The Crusaders, on the back of Dorlan Smith, got it across the timeline and fired a crushing blow to Bluefield on the made FG, forcing a first overtime period at 76-76.
Into the first overtime, it was Bluefield's chance to win the ball game at the end of the first extra time. With 1:30 to play, the Rams had three possessions to TTU's one. Blluefield did a great job to get their chances, after a steal by Carpenter and Marion both in final ten seconds. Neither FG attempt by Bluefield went in, as Temple stayed alive in paradise all square at 83-83.
The Crusaders would look to their bench all game-long for contribution. And their 6th man, Josh Morris, would put a dagger in the 2nd overtime period. The 15th lead change in contest happened as Bluefield took a 'large' five-point lead with three minutes to play in the period at 90-85. But Temple, yet again, came back with a clutch three-ball by Beauvil. On the next possession, Bluefield drained the shot clock and game clock all the way down as M'bala missed a three-point opportunity giving Temple the ball with :33 seconds left and down by two.
After a called TTU timeout, the Crusaders got the ball into the hot hands of Josh Morris. Morris sunk jumper with :40 seconds left to tie the game at 90-90. Neither team could put the ball in the basket for the final seconds, as Temple had three chances in the final ten seconds to get the win. Yet again, the game would extend further moving to a 3rd OT period.
Bluefield struggled to score in the third and final overtime period with only five points in the final five minutes, compared to Temple's ten points. Morris scored 6 of the 10 points in the period for Temple. The Crusaders got 31 bench points compared to Bluefield's three- playing a huge factor in the final result.
Carpenter and O'boute had their hands full inside, yet Carpenter produced a respectable double-double with a season and career-high 26 reboounds and 23 points on the night.
The Rams were led in scoring by freshman guard Andrew Wilson who dropped 26 points including four 3-pt FG's. Marion and M'bala added 23 and 15 points respectively.
The triple-overtime blow to the Rams ends their 2011-2012 campaign with a 19-16 final record under head coach Richard Morgan. It also ends collegiate careers for four Bluefield players including two starters, Ted Oboute and Borgia M'bala, as well as AJ Brown and Alvin Board.
Stay up to date with Rams Athletics and support the Women's Basketball team as they compete in the NCCAA Regional Finals on Saturday afternoon in Chattanooga, Tenn. A regional final win will book their ticket to the NCCAA National Championships in Winona Lake, Ind.